CD: Amazing Spider-Man, The (2012)

August 6, 2012 | By

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Rating: Very Good

Label: Sony Classical/ Released: July 3, 2012

Tracks & Album Length: 20 tracks / (71:03)


Special Notes: 8-page foldout colour booklet..


Composer: James Horner




Sony’s rebooting of the Spider-Man franchise brought in a whole new cast & crew this time, and among them is James Horner, who’s scored almost every kind of genre in his lengthy career, but in this case had the large shadows of Danny Elfman and Christopher Young looming within the hearts of fans.

In truth, it takes a few listens to acclimatize to Horner’s more subtle reading of the Spider-Man tale because his music is supposed to be tied to a high school kid instead of a slightly older & wiser Peter Parker from the prior films. The younger elements meant Horner could indulge in his love of children’s choirs and a big sweeping melody, but update the youth element with slight electronic enhancements (mostly synth percussion and soft textures) that update the composer’s emotionally epic sound.

Peter Parker’s theme is presented in sweeping and very gentle guises (the piano solos throughout the score are quite lovely), and there are a few great suspense tracks that are tense yet slightly wry, such as “The Briefcase” with its elliptical triplets.

The rapid-fire brass fanfares are back, as are the heavy anvil hits (“Becoming Spider-Man”), but there are fewer edgy cues where Horner can have fun with the kind of large-scale dissonance that’s part of his signature style. The use of rapidly struck piano keys in “Saving New York” harken back a little, but the cue ends with a rather saccharine blend of chorals. More successful is “Oscorp Tower” with its non-stop bass line and some eerie choral effects near the finale, and a few waves of the orchestra’s potent force.

Sony’s CD contains a generous 70 mins. of music that’s pleasing, with smooth orchestrations and crisp engineering, and while not one of Horner’s best scores, it’s perhaps typical of what a studio would request for its franchise reboot: nothing too busy or outrageous; and music that efficiently helps the audience accept new faces for what Sony hopes will yield another string of sequels.



© 2012 Mark R. Hasan


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